Night 2 Essay, Research Paper
Night is an utter brilliant piece of work. It tells a horrifying, yet truthful account of basically life as a Jew during the Holocaust. Upon finishing Night, this book did something; it touched my heart like no other book has. After reading this paper, I hope it touches you as the book has touched me.
Dehumanization. Dehumanization is defined as taking away rights, characteristics, and emotions from people. If you take away these things you are really no longer human, dehumanization. You basically turn into an animal. In Night, the first experience the Jews have of this is when Germans enter their city and take it over. The Jews are forced to go along with whatever the Germans tell them and they have to obey ridiculous rules and ordinances. They cannot worship, sometimes they have to stay in their house for up to three days, they are not allowed in the streets after six in the afternoon, they had to wear a yellow star, they were not allowed to have anything of value such as gold, and then they were not even allowed in public places at all. Then it got a little worse. The town of Sighet was made into two ghettos. Everyone had to move in these two areas. They boarded up the windows and they also surrounded the ghettos with barbed wire so no one could escape. Hungarian police shouted at them, Faster! Faster! Get on with you, lazy swine! At one point Eliezer heard a loud scream, and then comments that an animal was just killed. They were then deported like animals into cattle cars to the town of Birkenau. They were allowed to carry one bag, food and nothing else. Cattle cars are not that big and the Germans forced eighty to one hundred Jews into these cattle cars, with their luggage. At the camps, they were stripped of all their clothes, shoes, and hair and they were given prison clothes. They were even assigned a number that was put on them. They were referred to, not by their name, but by their number, just like a herd of cattle. They also were subjected to watch the inhumane killing of their people. Killed for nothing. Innocent blood shed with no remorse. If you are a farmer and you have a sick animal, you just kill it, no emotions at all. That is how it was like when the Germans killed the Jews. They took a group of people and made them into animals, dehumanization.
However it was a slow, long process. This was the Germans plan. Slowly take away their characteristics, rights, and emotions so that all hell does not brake loose with the Jews. By doing it slowly, the Jews think that, oh this is not so bad. Each time the Germans slowly progressed in their dehumanization, that is what the Jews said. Since the Germans used a slow process of dehumanization, the Jews adapted to it. If the Germans brought it all at once, there would have been a lot of Jews that fled the country and a lot of Jews that would have tried to escape while under German control. For example, in the spring of 1944, there was news that the Russians were closing in fast. The Jews said that the Russian s army was making gigantic strides, and that Hitler will not be able to do any harm to us, even if he wanted too. They surely did not think that he would be able to wipe out a whole people, and in the middle of the twentieth century. Also when the Germans took over Sighet, they were very nice. They stayed in Jewish homes and were very courteous to them. In a way the Germans would bring up the Jews, put them on a pedestal, before just bashing them down to where they are nothing.
The title of this book, in my opinion, fit perfectly. Throughout the whole experience of Eliezer in the novel, the one phrase that is often repeated is that this will be the last night of their imprisonment. They kept on, in a way, praising Hitler and having faith in him that he has and will keep his promise that the Jews will be free and not killed. Eliezer proclaimed the phrase, the last night , at Sighet, Birkenau, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and finally Gleiwitz. That is what kept them alive. Just having faith to keep strong and stay alive for tonight would be their last night and the war would be over or they would be freed. I chose my title, Day, because I think it represents the novel pretty good. During the day they were forced to perform inhumane actions and dehumanization. The daytime was the worst part of the whole experience. Nighttime was their only time to recover and regain their composure. One thing during the night they could do a lot of is pray; well it started out that way.
Religion played a huge part in this novel. At the beginning, Wiesel s views on religion are very sacred and strong. At the end of the novel, they are unholy and weak. The whole process was a very slow progression. In the beginning, they prayed every day and thanked God for what they had. After seeing thousands of people being killed they start thinking, what kind of God would allow this to happen to his own people. They then go to not even caring about God and even spiting him for what he had and is allowing. Eliezer proclaims Why should I bless His name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, was silent. What had I to thank Him for? Even rabbis were denouncing their faith and saying there is no God. I cannot say I disagree with them. If I were in the same position, sadly I probably would have done the same thing.
Overall, I thought this book to be overwhelming powerful. What made it so powerful is that it is true. Elie took this horrifying event in his life, in a lot of people s life, and put this amazing story in a well-constructed novel. Another thing Elie does in this novel is he paints a very clear picture of the story. Often while reading the book, I pictured it. I pictured actually being in Elie s shoes and seeing what he saw. That was pretty terrifying. There is one overall thing that I think this book and the countless Holocaust books portray, and that is, never let this happen again, ever.